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My file automatically opens instead of saving when I download in Chrome

Posted on: Oct, 2020 By: Art Holden

Have you tried downloading items in Chrome but they open instead of downloading? If you are using Google Chrome as your internet browser and notice this, don't worry, we can help! If the file automatically opens instead of saving when using Chrome, keep on reading or watch this video!



Learn how to set whether a file opens or saves automatically when downloading using Chrome

In a perfect world: The file downloads normally...hooray!

Ideally, when you click "Download" on one of our items (in Chrome) you'll have this icon show up in the lower-left corner of your computer screen.


If you click the dropdown arrow (right next to the word "gif" in the image above) you get 3 options:


By now, the file is already downloaded to the Downloads folder on your computer. Clicking the dropdown menu only gives you additional options.

  • Open - this will open the file in the default program for this file type (for GIF it is typically Edge, PNG / JPEG is usually Paint, WMV is usually Windows Media Player, and PPTX is PowerPoint)
  • Always open files of this type. This changes the default setting so instead of saving the file, it will open it in the default program, then let you choose whether or not to save the file.  This is where it gets very tricky and can easily wreak havoc later.
  • Show in folder - this opens the folder (usually downloads folder) containing the file, so you can then move it, open it, etc. at your discretion.

The file automatically opens...how to make it download instead!

So, if you click "Always open files of this type (even once!)- ... what happens is that the file will automatically open instead of downloading to the folder, and will open in whatever the default program is for the file type. Then, the file automatically opens instead of saving when I download in Chrome

To change this setting, start by clicking the "Tools" icon on your Chrome browser


(Updated 7/17/2020 - click the 3 DOTS icon)

When you click on the three small lines dots (tools icon), you'll see a dropdown box appear.


Click on "Settings" and you'll see a new page pop up in your Chrome browser window.  Scroll down to Advanced Settings, click Downloads, and clear your Auto Open options.  Next time you download an item, it will be saved instead of opened automatically.

If you're more of a visual learner, we did create a brief video of how to set chrome to download links instead of opening them below.



Your Settings link for Chrome can be found here. And if you need additional support, Chrome has a help menu and search feature here.

Thanks for searching for "My file automatically opens instead of saving when I download in Chrome"

Additional resources in using Chrome can be found at the links below:

Is there a Google version of PowerPoint? https://www.presentermedia.com/blog/2020/06/is-there-powerpoint-for-google/


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By: Art Holden
Art Holden has been involved in presentation and animation graphic content since 1990. He had the pleasure of creating one of the very first animation websites on the internet, Animation Factory. For 13 years he managed and created media for Animation Factory. He is now a part-owner and an employee working full time at PresenterMedia. His hobbies outside of work revolve around being involved in the bicycling community in Sioux Falls, SD. He never misses an opportunity to get on his bike and enjoy a ride.

Blog Comments (Sign In to Comment):

Jun 27, 2014 -
Oct 21, 2014 -
Kanishka Dutta
Thank you for the help! This worked.
Nov 20, 2014 -
that no longer works. Google must have changed their settings page. There are no auto-open options near the download setion.
Dec 11, 2014 -
thank you so much, this was driving me crazy !
Jan 09, 2015 -
Thank you. You saved me a lot of headache.
Mar 12, 2015 -
deepak kaushik
in chrome setting there is option clear auto open setting just click over it problem is solved
Aug 15, 2015 -
Jim Mooney
Not in the Download settings anymore. I am forced to go through their crappy player Every Time, when I want to dl a bunch of mp3s. Screw Chrome. I'm going back to Firefox. I'm tired of fighting a "option" they haven't fixed in years.
Aug 17, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
You are right Jim, it is not in the download section anymore. We will update this post to reflect that. You can know just right click on the downloaded item and either uncheck or check 'Always open files of this type.' - Billy
Oct 13, 2015 -
how do I stop the auto download since it is no longer on the screen to change it - I do not want everything to auto start as there could be bugs attached or malware
Oct 13, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
A download link will start an automatic download regardless of the browser. Our site does not start a download till the download button is clicked. The best solution is to know what you're clicking on and making sure you have an anti-virus installed that will scan each downloaded file.
Oct 15, 2015 -
You guys are awesome! Thank you so much for this solution!
Oct 15, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
No problem Dustin! Glad we could help!
Nov 16, 2015 -
That doesn't work because I can't download the file. It opens every time.
Nov 17, 2015 -
Billy Schlotter
What opens? If you are unable to download the file nothing should open.
Nov 21, 2015 -
Thanks it worked!
Mar 29, 2016 -
To download when you click instead of opening a link, just hold Alt when you left click. Voila!
Apr 15, 2016 -
The file opens. If you click a .Wav file anywhere, it will open in the browser player instead of downloading, and you have no option to prevent it from doing so, meaning that the right-click menu which would allow you to choose it to download it or open it in the future is not showing.
Apr 15, 2016 -
Billy Schlotter
What browser and version are you using? Are you trying to download a custom project or a video background?
May 18, 2016 -
Peter Maguire
Holy cow! That was exactly what I needed. I specifically logged in just to leave a thank you comment.
May 26, 2016 -
Pedro Armindo
Sep 23, 2016 -
Adam Dyke
Awesome.., it works.. thanks man...
Nov 16, 2016 -
you saved my life
Nov 17, 2016 -
Billy Schlotter
Glad we could help!

Your presentations are going to be amazing!

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